Letting our hearts be opened

Mindful Living While Thomas Merton may have been the first in our time to open up to a wider audience the ancient tradition of Christian meditation, it was John Main who recovered and simplified the practice for ordinary women and men. Prior to that it was to be found mainly in contemplative monasteries. The practice…

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The language of silence

Mindful Living   Exceptional life events stop us in our tracks and can force us to see the world very differently. That truth takes on a very practical meaning in the economic and social lockdown caused by the coronavirus, Covid-19. In extraordinary times, our everyday, routine, habitual worldview, our underlying, often unquestioned, way of seeing…

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Discover peace of mind over Lent

Etty Hillesum, a young Jewish woman who had a deep sense of her spiritual nature, once wrote: ‘Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others.’ We all experience suffering at some stage in our lives. Yet, meditation helps…

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Meditation: Sitting to Attention

Mindful Living Children take to meditation very easily – they have a natural disposition for silence because they have an infinite openness to life without expectation. Adults can quickly tire of meditation because they feel they are getting nowhere. It seems – on the surface of things – that nothing is happening and that can…

We must talk about children’s spirituality

Mindful Living   My parents watched the Late Late Show every Friday night and that show vied with the Riordans for top place in everyday conversation the following week. Both shows explored in their own way a changing Irish society. The whole culture of Irish society has changed in the intervening years, including the authority…

The birth of Christ within

Mindful Living Since Advent began, we have been waiting for Christmas. For most children, since they returned to school after Halloween, they have been inundated with messages about Christmas. Between targeted ads on television and social media and huge displays on the streets and in the shops, the overriding message has been about wanting more.…

Meditation and the sound of silence

Mindful Living The contemplative traditions assert that the language for expressing and exploring the spiritual quest is silence. As St John of the Cross expressed it, ‘Silence is God’s first language’. Meditation does not create the silence – it is already there, within the person but meditation uncovers and reveals it.” Silence is the language…

Christian meditation and mindfulness

Mindful Living   In the preface to Benedictus, his book of blessings, John O’Donohue, philosopher, poet, priest and author, writes that: “There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to…